MS Week report unveils British public’s ignorance about disabled people

Published date: 27 Apr 2012 at 5:27PM

Too many people in the UK are narrow-minded when it comes to considering the lifestyle people with disabilities, such as MS, can lead.

This is what the MS Society’s report 'Fighting Back - ordinary people battling the everyday effects of MS' has unveiled at the start of MS Week 2012.

The report

A ComRes poll of more than 2,000 British adults commissioned for the report shows that one in five (21%) people think disabled people need to accept they cannot have the same opportunities in life as non-disabled people.

A separate poll of over 1,400 people with MS reveals as many as 42% of people with MS feel that, as a result of their condition, people don’t consider them equal, while almost one in three (30%) say they have been visibly ignored because of their condition.

Such shocking statements are likely to be due to a lack of understanding about disability and MS in particular, as the research shows 71% of British adults admit they don’t feel they know enough about MS.

This is why the MS Society is encouraging people to fight back against MS and challenge these perceptions during MS Week. 

What we say

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the MS Society, said: “Because it’s poorly understood, living with MS can turn a simple shopping trip or social event into an ordeal – where strange looks and hurtful remarks can all be part of daily life.

“Yet people with MS have the same aspirations as anyone else. Most want loving relationships, an active social life and a successful career – and they can have this, given the right support and understanding. Of course MS presents many challenges, but society can place further unnecessary barriers in the way of people with MS, making it harder than it needs to be to live a full life.”

More positively, many people with MS (41%) have found the condition has strengthened the bond with their immediate family, almost half (49%) say it has led them to take up new hobbies and interests, and over a third (37%) of employed people with MS feel their condition does not impact on their work.

Join the Fightback against MS by donating to the MS Society, hosting a Cake Break, tweeting about MS Week or by watching and sharing our videos.

Page last updated: 21 Jun 2012

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